PhACT meeting - Michael Shermer Tuesday Jan 15th, 7:30 at
- Happy New Year, people,
There is a great chance to see and meet leading skeptic, Mike Shermer. We are jointly hosting him at the Philadelphia Ethical Society Building at 1906 South Rittenhouse Square on Tuesday, January 15th, 2008 7:30-10pm. It will be both a lecture and book signing. Bring money for a donation and to buy books. His latest book is "The Mind of the Market: Compassionate Apes, Competitive Humans, and Other Lessons from Evolutionary Economics"
an overview by Michael Shermer:
How did we evolve from ancient hunter-gatherers to modern consumer-traders? Why are people so irrational when it comes to money and business? Bestselling author Dr. Michael Shermer argues that evolution provides an answer to both of these questions through the new science of evolutionary economics.
Drawing on research from neuroeconomics, Shermer explores what brain scans reveal about bargaining, snap purchases, and how trust is established in business. Utilizing experiments in behavioral economics, Shermer shows why people hang on to losing stocks and failing companies, why business negotiations often disintegrate into emotional tit-for-tat disputes, and why money does not make us happy. Employing research from complexity theory, Shermer shows how evolution and economics are both examples of a larger phenomenon of complex adaptive systems.Along the way, Shermer answers such provocative questions as, Do our tribal roots mean that we will always be a sucker for brands? How is the biochemical joy of sex similar to the rewards of business cooperation? How can nations increase trust within and between their borders? Finally, Shermer considers the consequences of globalization and what will happen if nations allow free trade across their borders.Dr. Michael Shermer is the Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American , the host of the Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at Caltech, and Adjunct Professor of Economics at Claremont Graduate University, where he conducts research on the psychology of belief. He is the author of The Mind of the Market, his latest book on the psychology of money, an extension of his last book The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Share Care, and Follow the Golden Rule. Dr. Shermer is also the author of the bestselling books: How We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God, and Why People Believe Weird Things. Dr. Shermer received his B.A. in psychology from Pepperdine University, M.A. in experimental psychology from California State University, Fullerton, and his Ph.D. in the history of science from Claremont Graduate University.
Our February 16th 2pm meeting will be back at the school - a lecture from Dr. Paul Offit on the subject of the safety of vaccines. Some groups like http://www.vacinfo.org/ claim vaccines cause all manner of evil. A growing number of people have become "skeptical" of the safety of vaccines. Dr Offit maintains the risks are minuscule compared to the gains and has published over 100 papers related to immunizations and vaccine safety. He has given testimony and been a media source for lawsuits related to vaccines.
In other news, we could use a volunteer to be the keeper of the skeptics library call me if you can pick up and store some books.